Notes from the Underground: Nebraska Bar NYC

Posted: December 1, 2011 in All Things Power Spread
Tags: , ,

Ah the sidewalk chalkboard calling all Huskers

It’s an indisputable fact that there are very few programs in college football with histories at rich and storied as that of the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers.  Another commonly held fact is that few other – if any – fan bases travel as well as that of Nebraska (former Husker Roger Craig said once that if Nebraska scheduled a game on Mars that their fans would find a way to get there to see it in person).  They’re also known to be the friendliest and most polite fans known to college football, something which today seems to almost be a complete impossibility.  While I wasn’t able to travel to Lincoln to see my Buckeyes take on the Huskers in their first Big Ten home game I set out to confirm these things for myself at their New York City headquarters: The Irish Rogue.

For its first season in the conference the B1G and Mr Delany gave Nebraska the most challenging schedule it could come up with: Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State and Michigan.  After a melt-down in Madison to kickoff B1G play they managed a miraculous comeback at home against Ohio State, then a few weeks later they thumped Michigan State at home and set back out on the road where they topped Penn State.  No team in the B1G since Penn State in 1994 had beaten Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State in the same season, on this Saturday I joined the NYC Husker faithful as they took on Michigan in an attempt to match Penn State’s feat.

The Irish Rogue

I will say that noon kickoffs can tend to be a bit rough, this is especially the case in New York City when you consider weekend subway commutes (any New Yorker will tell you weekends are even more difficult because of MTA repair-work schedules).  That said the crowd was a little late-ish to arrive and to a degree it never arrived at all.  I get that the Huskers are new to the conference and that they’re going through the whole getting to know the neighbors thing, but they were playing Michigan!

I was fortunate to find a spot at the bar and to quickly make a few new friends (one of whom was a Florida fan – that went to Florida State, strange world).  I was informed that that the lack of crowd was unlike most Husker game-watches at the Irish Rogue.  During the commercial breaks of the game on this Saturday we were made to actually watch and listen to them.  I was told that usually they do put music typical to the Nebraska Cornhusker culture on during breaks.  However this was the responsibility of the bartender and unfortunately this bartender was not going to be hassled with whatever Cornhuskers listen to.

A gathering of uber friendly Midwesterners

I was also disappointed to not hear a single Husker cheer, not even early in the affair when they were hanging with Michigan.  Based on what I understood from some of the patrons at the bar this may though have something to do with the culture of the fan base.  I asked what Husker fans are typically like and he asked what Ohio State fans are typically like.  We needed a common ground to sort this one out, we quickly arrived a Texas Longhorns fans, their former (hated) conference rivals.  He said Horns fans are total jerks.  I explained that in my experience from an OSU game in Austin (2006, Ohio State won 24-7) I found that they were anything but jerks!  My Husker friend went on to tell me that even when the team doesn’t play well in Lincoln the fans never boo or scream for a coaches head, but this also means that the stadium environment can tend to be quiet, just as I discovered at the bar.  He somewhat lamented this reality saying that he wishes at times Nebraska fans would be more intense.  My two cents: there’s nothing wrong with being too friendly and hospitable.

Ultimately and sadly there was very little for the Huskers inside the Irish Rogue to cheer about on this Saturday afternoon, the game slowly got away from Bo Pelini’s team and they badly lost to Michigan 45-17.  However I will certainly make it a point to get back to the Irish Rogue for a more lively game-watch experience and another opportunity to share company with the quintessential Midwesterners that are Nebraska Cornusker fans.


  1. Melissa says:

    I agree, nothing wrong with being too friendly! Great post! But my big question is…what was everyone wearing?!

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